Can Elohim Mean “Great Men”?
Dear Rabbi, I recall, but can’t find where, that Elokim or a word spelled almost the same is used in Tanach just to mean “great men” or “powerful men”? If so, can you tell me where?
(In which case, am I right that I can write it and say it without capitalizing it and without replacing the H with a K??? )
That is my question, but the reason for the question is that a non-Jew I know in an online discussion group says that, “You shall not have other gods, Elokim acherim, before me” implies that there exist other gods. I replied that it refers to idols, etc. treated as gods but he says that’s an interpretation. If, as I recall (but I could be mistaken) I could show places where elohim clearly meant people, I think he would relent.
I found three inadequate locations. When the Israelites ask for the Golden Calf, they use the same word (“make us a god” ) but I think they plan to regard it as a real god. And in Shoftim 17:5 it’s translated as idolatry, but that would not prove to him that they were not gods, that is, with supernatural powers. And I think I found one place in Ketuvim that was not convincing to me, maybe because it was written hundreds of years later.
Am I right, that Elokim is used for “great men” somewhere in Tanach? Or was it elsewhere I saw it? Surely not the liturgy? Because I don’t understand Hebrew well, I only read the Hebrew for Tanach and the liturgy, so if I correctly remember that it it is there, it must be in Tanach or the service.